Saturday, June 7, 2008

Up for Auction: Newly Rediscovered van Gogh

Curators at the Van Gogh Museum and the Kröller-Müller Museum recently determined this drawing, "Old Man and Woman," to be a long-lost van Gogh original, dating from November-December 1882 during Vincent's time in The Hague. The man in the drawing is actually one who posed for van Gogh on a number of occasions, an inhabitant of a local old-folks home. The drawing was acquired by Helene Kröller-Müller in 1913 from the gallery Frederick Muller & Cie in Amsterdam--the drawing is mentioned in a catalogue from the gallery's sale--and then was given as a wedding gift to a friend in 1914 (the friend's nephew is the current owner). The drawing more or less dropped off the radar and was not included in subsequent catalogues raisonnés of van Gogh's work. This exciting discovery is detailed in the February 2008 issue of Burlington Magazine in an article by the VGM's drawings curator, Marije Vellekoop. You can also read about it at the Van Gogh Museum website and at the online archive, Van Gogh Gallery. Most people who claim to have a long-lost van Gogh are sadly mistaken; this drawing's owner happened to be right. As the Van Gogh Museum website notes, this is only the eighth time since 1970 that a drawing has been added to the van Gogh corpus.

The drawing's owner has now consigned it to Sotheby's Amsterdam, where it will be up for auction on June 25th. The estimate is 50,000-80,000 Euros.

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